Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Taking decisive action

Danial Norjidi

As the lingering effects of the pandemic and other recent events disrupted global markets and supply chains, Asia-Pacific business leaders have called on policymakers to take decisive action.

Inflation and food insecurity has challenged the region’s ability to achieve sustainable, inclusive and resilient growth, said Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Chairman for 2022 Supant Mongkolsuthree after the 2nd ABAC meeting in April.

“Responding to these challenges demand decisive, deliberate action, both to deepen the economic integration of our region, and to better equip our businesses, including the smallest, to achieve dynamic and sustainable growth,” he said.

Mongkolsuthree said ABAC will be proposing to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers to launch five multi-year joint work programmes to develop tangible outcomes on digitalisation, inclusion, sustainability, trade and investment, and trade response to the pandemic.

“We also want to see a stronger, more relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) and we will call on APEC Ministers to work together to shape a 12th Ministerial Conference outcome that enables a strong, credible and relevant WTO, that provides a secure foundation for the rules-based multilateral trading system, responds effectively to the pandemic, fosters a robust return to growth, and reflects evolving business needs and models.

“ABAC’s priorities have been and will continue to be focussed on creating a more level playing field for MSMEs who have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also critical that MSMEs develop a long-term approach to embracing digitalisation to enhance resilience and promote innovation and agility in the face of uncertain market demands and business environments.”

Chief Executive Officer of imagine Sdn Bhd Suzannawati binti Haji Suharju and Executive Director of LVK Group of Companies Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii at the 2nd ABAC Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. PHOTO: ABAC BRUNEI

The chair said ABAC supports the global agenda of sustainability.

“We must build a net zero economy and promote green recovery pathways, including developing innovative tools for the transition to a low-carbon economy, drawing on our Climate Leadership Principles.” Meanwhile, ABAC should also foster a sustainable food system that ensures food security and safety through the use of technologies and by reducing market distortions, he said.

“We will take the opportunity to convey our views on how this can be achieved to APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade,” he added.


Brunei Darussalam’s ABAC representatives have shared their full support towards the overall ABAC agenda for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

“As the world works towards recovering from the pandemic, it is crucial that ABAC economies work jointly to ensure a stronger, sustainable recovery,” said ABAC Brunei member and Chief Executive Officer of imagine Sdn Bhd Suzannawati binti Haji Suharju.

“ABAC Brunei continues to remain committed in the collaborative efforts to unleash the opportunities from synergies within ABAC economies with a focus on MSMEs, including women-led firms, by ensuring access to digital knowledge and capabilities. We stand united to achieve the theme set for ABAC 2022, ‘Embrace, Engage and Enable’,” she said.

Meanwhile ABAC Brunei member and Executive Director of LVK Group of Companies Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii said, “MSMEs remain at the heart of ABAC’s purpose especially more so for ABAC Brunei Darussalam. Following on the important work by ABAC New Zealand last year, ABAC embarks on work plans that are practical and remain focussed to further enabling digitalisation and strengthening inclusion of the underserved and underrepresented.”